Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

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Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:23 pm

Comrade Girbils

I am new to SSD's and believe that I read somewhere that it is a good idea to disable hibernation, and its cousin, hybrid sleep, when using an SSD to save on writes to the disk.

After recently installing an OCZ Vertex2 as my boot drive, I took my old WD Raptor 74gb (my old windows Boot drive) and am using it for a dedicated pagefile and Photoshop and Lightroom cache drive. I've disabled hibernation and instead I've been using Sleep mode, which is faster and better for the SSD. The performance seems to be quite good, and in theory I am doing as little writing to my SSD as possible.

My question for my more knowledable Girbil Comrades is whether this configuration is a wise idea. Is Hibernation really bad for SSD's? Does this seem like a sensible configuration? Is there any way to improve it?
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:36 pm

I wish I could tell you, but I know I've seen various issues with forms of 'sleep' between my Indilinx SSD and my Vertex 2 (Sandforce) SSD. I need to figure out how to determine what form of sleep the machine is using, and how to make sure it's just the normal Windows sleep.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:46 pm

My take: you buy a drive to use, not to avoid using it.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:05 pm

I agree with flying fox to a point, that being said I think that logic is a bit flawed. He is using the drive; but he wants to know how to use the drive most effectively. For example when slowing a car downhill you can shift to a lower gear or brake. Both work, but lowering gears is better for your car in the long run since you won't wear out the brakes as fast.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:41 pm

Hibernation isn't bad for the SSD, but here's the deal.
Whatever amount of ram you have in your system, the equivalent amount of HD space is reserved for hibernation. Lets talk about a guy with a 8gb of ram in his system. If you have 8gb of ram, hibernate will automatically reserve 8gb of space on your SSD (there is no way to move the hibernate file to another drive as far as I know). Space is often an issue with SSDs, and many people are using 40gb, 64gb drives and can't afford to give up the space.

The other issue is this. When you hibernate, each time windows will write 8gb to the hard drive. Assuming you hibernate one time a day, you're looking at one 8gb write, which in the grand scheme of things isn't all that bad. Intel drives are officially rated for 20gb a day for 5 years, and unofficially for 100gb a day for 5 years. But again you don't want to unnecessarily take up write cycles just to bring your PC out of sleep I would think. I disable hibernate right away. Corsair recommends it too for their SSDs (I bought a corsair nova indilix drive for my gf and read corsairs official recommendations). Turning it off will net you even more SSD space as well as prevent excess writing to the drive each time you sleep.

The only advantage of hibernate is that if you lose power, your data isn't lost, which is good for laptops but not so useful for desktops. Otherwise its slower than sleep and has the problems I mentioned before hand.

Disabling the pagefile is one of those things people do to preserve the writecycles on the drive. To be honest, the pagefile only comes into play if you run out of RAM and have to use the drive as even more memory space (albeit slower), so leaving it on or off likely won't make any sort of difference in your SSDs overall health.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:55 pm

I like quick wake from hibernation -- in fact, that's what makes it preferable to just shutting things off -- so I left hibernation turned on. I also have the page file on the SSD. Yes, that's going to increase the wear on the SSD.... so it's going to wear out in seven years, instead of lasting me ten. At which point I'll be able to replace it with a vastly larger and faster SSD that costs less. Except I'll probably no longer even have that particular computer by then anyway.

But if you want to maximize the life of your SSD (or just don't have the room) and still take advantage of hibernation, it's possible to move the hiberfile -- so you could put it on your Raptor also.
Sunburn74 wrote:The other issue is this. When you hibernate, each time windows will write 8gb to the hard drive. Assuming you hibernate one time a day, you're looking at one 8gb write, which in the grand scheme of things isn't all that bad.
Actually, that's not true in Windows 7. Yes, the hiberfile is the same size as your RAM, but Windows doesn't write to the entire thing under most circumstances. When hibernating, Windows 7 first forces a trim of the workingset of all apps and itself, so things like read-only data and code pages that are loaded but not actually in use are flushed. Then it only writes out in-use pages: it doesn't write out the free memory (which by definition doesn't contain anything you care about). So if your 8GB system is only actually using a couple of GB (once the workingsets are trimmed), that's all that is written to the hiberfile, though the file has 8GB reserved to handle the worst-case scenario.

BTW, to maximize performance in photoshop you want to keep its scratch file on a separate physical volume from the system page file, and it probably won't hurt your SSD very much to have it sitting there.
Disabling the pagefile is one of those things people do to preserve the writecycles on the drive. To be honest, the pagefile only comes into play if you run out of RAM and have to use the drive as even more memory space (albeit slower), so leaving it on or off likely won't make any sort of difference in your SSDs overall health.
Well, Windows does write in-use pages out to the page file in the background, to handle the case where you start running a memory-hungry app that wants memory asap, so that the OS can just hand over the pages that are already sitting in the pagefile rather than holding up everything while it writes things out. So even in cases where you're not low on memory, Windows will be doing some writing to the page file (which seems to upset people who don't understand what's going on). But again, the total amount of writes is unlikely to reduce the useful lifespan of the drive all that much.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:21 pm

UberGerbil wrote:it's going to wear out in seven years, instead of lasting me ten.

The numbers are probably more like 40 years instead of 45, if you're a typical desktop user.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:34 pm

I set the pagefile to use only up to 512MB on my SSD. If it needs more, it can take up to eight gigs of the storage drive. Don't need it taking up more space on the SSD than it has to.

I think I turned hibernation off.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:16 am

grantmeaname wrote:
UberGerbil wrote:it's going to wear out in seven years, instead of lasting me ten.
The numbers are probably more like 40 years instead of 45, if you're a typical desktop user.
Yeah, I was just picking wild-assed worst case numbers out of the air.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:13 am

FuturePastNow wrote:I set the pagefile to use only up to 512MB on my SSD. If it needs more, it can take up to eight gigs of the storage drive. Don't need it taking up more space on the SSD than it has to.

I think I turned hibernation off.

If there is no way to move the hibernation file off to another drive then I am ok with the idea of turning it off (will be strongly suggesting backing the system up with an UPS). For space though, not for avoiding writes. Hibernate happens not as often compared to pagefile writes anyways.

For pagefile, I don't know if Windows will treat SSD with higher priority but if they treat all drives the same then there may be a chance where the OS thinks the SSD is busy and try to page to HDD... ouch. The performance of SSD will help pagefile read/write so you don't get the hiccup even if it is busy paging. I would not try to be cute and split the pagefile and risk the chance of it going to the HDD. With SSDs your smoother experience will make paging to HDD feel very slow.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:37 am

Flying Fox wrote:
FuturePastNow wrote:I set the pagefile to use only up to 512MB on my SSD. If it needs more, it can take up to eight gigs of the storage drive. Don't need it taking up more space on the SSD than it has to.

I think I turned hibernation off.

If there is no way to move the hibernation file off to another drive then I am ok with the idea of turning it off (will be strongly suggesting backing the system up with an UPS). For space though, not for avoiding writes. Hibernate happens not as often compared to pagefile writes anyways.

For pagefile, I don't know if Windows will treat SSD with higher priority but if they treat all drives the same then there may be a chance where the OS thinks the SSD is busy and try to page to HDD... ouch. The performance of SSD will help pagefile read/write so you don't get the hiccup even if it is busy paging. I would not try to be cute and split the pagefile and risk the chance of it going to the HDD. With SSDs your smoother experience will make paging to HDD feel very slow.


It's a desktop, I put it to sleep most nights, but it's never going to hibernate.

As for paging, with 8GB RAM and what I use it for, there shouldn't be much. Last time I checked, it was using 512MB on the SSD and 16 on the hard drive. Can't set pagefile size to zero without turning it off altogether; those are the minimum sizes allowed. Been like this for a year now, and there is no lack of smoothness.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:16 am

Disabling the pagefile is one of those things people do to preserve the writecycles on the drive.


Disabling the pagefile also kills Panda Bears.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:08 am

Sunburn74 wrote:Disabling the pagefile is one of those things people do to preserve the writecycles on the drive. To be honest, the pagefile only comes into play if you run out of RAM


I also had to quote this simply because of what UberGerbil has already beat me to. That is, paging is a fact of life and both quoted points are simply wrong. That myth needs to die.
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:18 pm

FuturePastNow wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
FuturePastNow wrote:I set the pagefile to use only up to 512MB on my SSD. If it needs more, it can take up to eight gigs of the storage drive. Don't need it taking up more space on the SSD than it has to.

I think I turned hibernation off.

If there is no way to move the hibernation file off to another drive then I am ok with the idea of turning it off (will be strongly suggesting backing the system up with an UPS). For space though, not for avoiding writes. Hibernate happens not as often compared to pagefile writes anyways.

For pagefile, I don't know if Windows will treat SSD with higher priority but if they treat all drives the same then there may be a chance where the OS thinks the SSD is busy and try to page to HDD... ouch. The performance of SSD will help pagefile read/write so you don't get the hiccup even if it is busy paging. I would not try to be cute and split the pagefile and risk the chance of it going to the HDD. With SSDs your smoother experience will make paging to HDD feel very slow.


It's a desktop, I put it to sleep most nights, but it's never going to hibernate.

As for paging, with 8GB RAM and what I use it for, there shouldn't be much. Last time I checked, it was using 512MB on the SSD and 16 on the hard drive. Can't set pagefile size to zero without turning it off altogether; those are the minimum sizes allowed. Been like this for a year now, and there is no lack of smoothness.

That does not mean there is no paging going on. Most likely the pages were going to the SSDs or too infrequent on the HDD for you to notice. When you have enough RAM this is the ideal situation. ;)
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Re: Win7, SSD's, Pagefiles, and hibernation

Postposted on Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:12 am

That does not mean there is no paging going on. Most likely the pages were going to the SSDs or too infrequent on the HDD for you to notice. When you have enough RAM this is the ideal situation. ;)


I know there is paging going on, but it's using the minimum Windows 7 would let me set. It is simply not using the maximum available to it, most of which is on a hard drive.

To be clear, there are two pagefiles, one on C: and one on G:
C: pagefile min/max size is set at 512/512
G: pagefile min/max size is 16/8000

The amount actually being used as a pagefile, last time I checked, was 528MB. If it needs more, it's got eight gigs on a hard drive it can use, but it is not using them.
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